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Nagaland to Withdraw Steep Covid-19 Cess on Petrol and Diesel

Representative image.

Representative image.

The state government imposed the COVID-19 cess of Rs 5 per litre on diesel and Rs 6 per litre on petrol and other motor spirits on April 28 amid a crunch in finances in the wake of the lockdown.

The Nagaland government has decided to withdraw the steep COVID-19 cess on petrol and diesel, state minister Neiba Kronu said on Wednesday. The decision was taken at a cabinet meeting at Choumukedima in Dimapur district, he said.

Considering the need to give a boost to economic activities and the woes of the people, the decision to rollback the cess was taken, Kronu, who is also the government spokesperson on COVID-19, said. The Nagaland government imposed the COVID-19 cess of Rs 5 per litre on diesel and Rs 6 per litre on petrol and other motor spirits on April 28, amid a crunch in the state'sfinances in the wake of the lockdown following the COVID-19outbreak.

Opposition parties, tribal bodies, civil society groups and student bodies have been demanding a rollback of the cess. Besides, the Dimapur Naga Students' Union on September 19 had threatened to close down all the petrol pumps in the state if the cess was not withdrawn. The official notification for the rollback would be published on Thursday and is likely to come into effect from Friday, Kronu, who is the Land Revenue and Parliamentary Affairs minister, said.

He said Nagaland was given Rs 27.84 crore by the central government for fighting COVID-19, while the state spent Rs 115.80 crore from its own resources. Total COVID-19 cess collected from April to July is Rs10.32 crore, he said, adding that the August collections are yet to be deposited.


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